The next few installments of Looking Back will focus on celebrations. This photo shows the Gilman Band, which has gathered on the Fourth of July in 1893, just one year after the founding of the Town of Gilman (now Issaquah). Among the items of interest in this photograph are the large Western Red Cedar tree in the background, the hand split cedar fence to the right and the boardwalk in the right foreground. It is clear that, at the time, huge cedar trees were in abundance. Independence Day was a popular holiday for celebrating in the late 1890’s, much as it is today. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, and the first Independence Day celebration was 1777. Of the original 13 colonies, nine voted for the Declaration, two voted against it and one was undecided and one abstained.
Published in the Issaquah Press on December 8, 1999
Published in the Issaquah Press on December 22, 1999
Our look at past celebrations continues with Independence Day in 1910. No float that year was as well represented as that of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Each of the children on the float wore a banner with the name of a state on it. The Temperance Union was founded December 22, 1873, in Fredonia, N.Y., out of concern for the damaging effects of alcohol. The organization is the oldest non-sectarian women’s group in the world, and is still in existence today. In front of the wagon is Martha Wood, current Issaquah resident Walt Seil’s grandmother. Two more faces, the girls kneeling in the back row, centered between the two girls standing in white, are recognizable. The one on the left is Josephine Wood, Seil’s mother, and the one on the right is Mabel Miles.
Our continuous look at past celebrations take us this week to Issaquah’s first Labor Day Parade. In this Sept. 1, 1924 photograph, the Labor Day Rodeo cowboys lead the march south on Front Street. Following is a band led by William Harris, visible just to the right of the band, in a suit, holding a book. The Issaquah Cafe on the left is where the new library is under construction. The railroad tracks in the foreground led from the depot to the coal mines behind the fish hatchery. Also of note is the white drinking fountain located next to the telephone pole on the right corner.
Published in the Issaquah Press on January 5, 2000
Published in the Issaquah Press on January 12, 2000
As we move forward into a new millennium, we continue to look back at past celebrations. This week’s photo is of Issaquah’s Labor Day royalty in a Nash convertible, circa 1940. From left is June Lindsay, Labor Day Queen Carman Scamfer, Marjorie Darst, Anne Kochevar, and an unidentified gentleman. In 1924, Issaquah changed its major celebration from the Fourth of July to Labor Day weekend and called it Issaquah Roundup. The first Labor Day parade was in New York City on Sept, 5, 1882. In 1894, the federal government made it a holiday for federal employees to honor the “American working man.”
The Press concludes its review of Issaquah Celebrations with this week’s photograph of the float built by Gilman Rebekah Lodge No. 59 for a Labor Day parade in the early 1950s. Riding on the float are (from the left) Velma Chevalier, an unidentified woman, Ann Anderson, Joan Karvia and Ethel Clark. The children are unidentified. The float is decorated with flowers and tree boughs, typical of parade floats of that time.
Published in the Issaquah Press on January 19, 2000
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Gilman Town Hall
165 SE Andrews Street
Open Thurs-Fr-Sat, 11am-3pm
Issaquah Depot Museum
78 First Avenue NE
Open Fri-Sat-Sun, 11am-3pm
Issaquah Valley Trolley
78 First Avenue NE
Open May 9, 2015